Report: More younger children illegally crossing southwest border

The number of children under 13 who are getting caught illegally crossing the southwest border without their parents has more than doubled over the last two fiscal years, a new report shows.

Based on federal records, the Pew Hispanic Research Center report shows a 117 percent increase in their apprehensions during the first eight months of this fiscal year compared with all of last fiscal year. In all, 7,460 children ages 12 and under have been apprehended on the border through May 31 of this fiscal year, up from 3,445 for last fiscal year.

In contrast, apprehensions of teenagers – ages 13-17 – have risen by only 12 percent during the same timeframe. Authorities have apprehended 39,472 children of those ages so far this fiscal year, up from 35,314 last fiscal year.

Most of the children are coming from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. As required by federal law, immigration authorities are transferring many of them to the care of relatives in Georgia and other states, where they undergo deportation proceedings in nearby immigration courts, including one in Atlanta.

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